Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
From: "The Vegetarian Epicure" by Anna Thomas, first edition 1972. This book was a real find! Greek-Style casserole.
- 1 1⁄2 cups cooked lentils (I'd use brown)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 large eggplant, chopped into small pieces (unpeeled)
- 1 -2 garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1 (32 ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
- 8 ounces tomato paste
- 1⁄2-1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 16 ounces cooked macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups milk, heated
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons flour
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add onions, eggplant, garlic and seasonings. Cover and let saute, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and lentils with a little liquid. Cook until very thick.
- Stir in tomato paste and heat through. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Butter a large casserole of oblong baking dish and layer half of the noodles across the bottom. Sprinkle one third of the parmesan over the noodles. Layer half of the sauce over noodles and parmesan.
- Layer the remaining half of the noodles over the sauce, sprinkle with one third of the parmesan and cover with the remaining sauce. *You could refrigerate it at this point if you want to make it ahead of time.
- Custard Sauce:.
- Heat butter in a saucepan over low heat, stir in flour, and let roux cook a few minutes.
- Pour in heated milk, stirring with a whisk.
- Slowly whisk sauce into beaten eggs.
- Pour sauce over entire casserole. It should drain through to the bottom and bind the whole thing together. If it sits on top, slide a butter knife in and out of the layers in a few places.
- Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and cover.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Serve very hot.
I love this! When in Greece I'll often have the meat version but it crossed my mind that it could easily become veggie and I sought out a veggie recipe. (I am a sucker for lentils). I swapped the aubergine (eggplant) for courgette (zucchini) one time when I was feeding a friend who can't abide aubergine. I use 3 or 4 medium sized onions, diced. I use 2x14oz tins of chopped tomatoes in their juice. I am also able to get spaghetti length macaroni tubes and feel this made for an authentic touch. A greek cypriot friend told me that you should straighten out the long macroni before you lay it in the dish (she doesn't, she admits, and she now uses penne pasta). I have to say that I don't agree with the comment about serving it very hot - it should really sit for at least 20 minutes before serving to have a hope of holding together in a taverna-like slab. Bear in mind, too, that in Greece food is never served very hot (it is considered to be bad for your health, I think). This dish gets even better served on the second day. I try to make sure I have some left to take for lunch to work or to freeze. Thanks for sharing. ps - I've now made this for the third time . . . a true definition of a recipe that is a real "keeper".
I really liked this dish. It was filling, and although I was skeptical about adding cinnamon, it really tasted great in the end. Next time I'd definitely add more lentils and less pasta though- just a personal preference. Thanks for sharing!
I love Anna Thomas! (Vegetarian Epicure author). Her recipes always turn out beautifully. If you are starting with dry lentils use 3/4 cup (per the cookbook) for the right quantity. Also be sure to under cook the macaroni, as this casserole bakes in the oven for an hour once assembled. I would only cook it 2-3 minutes next time (I did it 4 minutes this time). This recipe makes A LOT of food. It was spilling out of the 13 x 9" dish so I made two casseroles. Next time I will cut this in half. But it will definitely be made again. Thank you [Made for Zaar Cookbook Tag]